Fumbling through a pocket or wallet for a Compass Card could be a thing of the past with a new alternative physical form of TransLink’s smart card: the Compass Card wristband.
The public transit authority says the new wristbands, which provide the same tapping capability as a Compass Card, will be made available starting on Monday, December 3.
For the time being, the wristbands can only be acquired from the Compass Customer Service office — located at the Beatty Street entrance of Stadium-Chinatown Station — or the West Coast Express Office inside Waterfront Station.
In all likelihood, if the desire for convenience is not to be underestimated, the wristbands will go very quickly.
TransLink says 2,000 wristbands are being made available for the first batch, with 1,000 baby blue-coloured wristbands for riders with an adult fare and 1,000 orange-coloured wristbands for riders with a concession fare.
The wristbands are highly durable for frequent use and can be reloaded, just like the card.
Each wristband costs $6.00, which is the same deposit to acquire a card. If there is sufficient demand, the public transit authority will order more wristbands early next year.
Other major transit systems elsewhere in the world have also introduced alternative wearable designs to their transit payment smart cards.
Hong Kong’s MTR system’s Octopus Card, for instance, also sells Octopus watches, mobile phone covers, and key chains that function in the same way as the card. There are even pop culture intellectual property collaborations, such as designs that feature Hello Kitty, Monchhichi, and Sailor Moon.